Exclusive: Zack Snyder’s Justice League production designer Patrick Tatopoulos explains the backstory behind Batman’s Flying Fox aircraft.
Batman’s new aircraft in Zack Snyder’s Justice League was actually created by Thomas Wayne, production designer Patrick Tatopoulos reveals. Director Zack Snyder’s 4-hour DC epic arrived on HBO Max last Thursday and restored his original vision for the team-up film. The end result is very different from the Justice League that was released in theaters in 2017, with everything from its color palette to its aspect ratio being adjusted. Most thrillingly, Snyder’s Justice League includes deeper arcs for its characters, including those who were sidelined by the prior cut. Snyder even wove in some poignant details that not everyone might have caught.
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Throughout Justice League, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) is seen tinkering with an ambitious aircraft known as the Flying Fox. Despite Bruce’s best efforts, he’s unable to get it up in the air until Cyborg (Ray Fisher) uses his abilities to communicate with the tech. The Flying Fox then becomes the Justice League’s transportation to the final battle against Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds). Batman’s aircraft earns a fair amount of screen time in Justice League, which makes sense when one realizes the significance behind its creation.
Screen Rant recently had the opportunity to sit down with Justice League production designer Patrick Tatopoulos about the mega-sized film. During our interview, Tatopoulos revealed the unseen story behind the Flying Fox: It was one of Thomas Wayne’s creations. Bruce’s decision to revive it is actually quite vital. Tatopoulos said:
The idea of the Flying Fox is his father’s, that he developed for a military purpose. One of them was almost partially built, almost finished, and he just had to adjust and fix it. But the idea is between the two movies Batman has decided he knows what’s coming his way, and he’s starting to reactivate things. Part of his world that he hasn’t used, because there was no need for him.
The aesthetic of the Flying Fox to me still had to feel like the Batmobile. It’s interesting, the Flying Fox existed before the Batmobile, in a sense. Because it was created by his father, before Batman and his own Batmobile. And I like the idea that the Batmobile, in our storytelling in Batman v Superman, was seen before the Flying Fox. You can tell the influences of his father, if you may. The Batmobile sort of makes sense in a reverse kind of concept. You see the Batmobile and then, “Oh, this is the craft. Those are the crafts that his father had created.” And now you see the child, the son, and the father. And that’s why it’s so important that you feel the legacy between those two things. Those are elements that are not immensely significant for the audience to watch, but they are there, and you sense it. And I hope it comes through.
As always with a Batman story, Bruce’s parents remain a guiding influence, and the decision to make the Flying Fox one of Thomas’ creations is a subtle, but impactful one. Bruce spends much of Justice League trying to do the right thing by assembling the team and protecting the world. His drive to do all that stems from both his relationship with Superman (Henry Cavill) and what happened to his parents when he was a child. Though it’s never addressed directly in Justice League, the Flying Fox being Thomas’ further solidifies Bruce’s connection to his parents and enhances his characterization.
In addition to the Thomas Wayne detail, Snyder’s Justice League did right by Affleck’s Batman by letting him interact with the Joker (Jared Leto). Their conversation (which also references the loss of Bruce’s parents) during the film’s Knightmare epilogue sets the stage for a compelling sequel, but it remains to be seen if it will ever get made. Even if it doesn’t, though, Snyder has provided Batman with a meaningful story full of subtle hints toward the events that defined who he is. Fans will have to pay closer attention to pick it all up when it comes time for a rewatch.
More: Snyder’s Justice League 2 Plan Fixed The Worst DCEU Batman Mistake
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